For five years, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Federal Office for the Environment and the Federal Office for Agriculture actively supported work on a new standard to ensure that water usage worldwide can be assessed according to uniform criteria. The new norm is intended to help both identify the impacts of water usage, and implement measures to use water more efficiently. The ISO standard for conducting a water footprint assessment was adopted by the organisation's member states in July, and presented to a broad audience today at World Water Week in Stockholm.
How does agricultural engineering affect people, animals and the environment? How can technologies be further optimised for the benefit of improved resource efficiency? These questions will be tackled by around 350 individuals from science and industry at the Congress of the European Society of Agricultural Engineers, taking place for the first time in Switzerland from 6-10 July. The Society will be celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Information about the current natural hazard situation in Switzerland can now be obtained at a glance from an easy-to-read map on the new web portal www.natural-hazards.ch. The federal agencies responsible for natural hazards were commissioned by the Federal Council to develop the joint web portal, which marks a further advance in the improvement of natural hazard warnings in Switzerland.
The number of different habitats is crucial to sustain species diversity in farmland. Organic farms without targeted measures to promote biodiversity, such as the creation of species-rich habitats, only harbour marginally more species than other farms. This is shown by a recently published study in ten European and two African regions.